Sneak Preview: Federal Debarment, Suspension Numbers Decline

June 23, 2017 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

xgran_bookshot(The following was excerpted from a recent article in the Federal Grants Management Handbook.) A growing trend by federal awarding agencies toward using administrative agreements and other alternative methods to address recipient responsibility is effecting the overall number of suspensions and debarments that are issued annually by federal agencies, which declined for a second straight year in federal fiscal year (FY) 2016, according to federal reports.

Suspension and debarment are not designed to be punitive measures, but rather tools to protect the government’s interest in federal assistance. Suspensions, which generally last up to 12 months before legal proceedings are initiated, offer a quick response when necessary to protect the government’s interest and often are the result of an indictment. Debarments may be fact-based or conviction-based and are usually imposed for three years, although they may be adjusted based on aggravating and mitigating factors.

Types of actions that may lead to debarment or suspension include fraud, anti-trust law violations, embezzlement, theft, forgery, making false claims or statements, unfair trade practices or the commission of any offense that indicates a lack of integrity or honesty.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in July 2015 amended the governmentwide debarment and suspension (nonprocurement) guidelines contained in 2 C.F.R. Part 180 by adding new questions addressing administrative agreements proposed in lieu of a suspension or debarment action. The amendment resulted from a final guidance implementing Section 872 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act of 2009 (Pub. L. 110-417).

(The full version of this story has now been made available to all for a limited time on Thompson’s Grants Compliance Expert site.)



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